Aric Chen -- Interior Design, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Heading a firm that works in branding and media as well as interiors, Mark Zeff is used to finding the essence of something and bringing it out. That also applies to Zeff Design's Chelsea office, located in a former manufacturing building. "It's an enclosed space, versus one with lots of glass," he says. "Rather than fighting that, we went with it."
What the office lacks in windows it compensates for with a free-flowing floor plan, exposed brick columns, and rows of ceiling vaults. To accentuate the industrial rawness so associated with young media firms, Zeff polished the concrete floor of the 5,000-square-foot space and installed cinder-block walls. But that doesn't mean he was going purely for that information-age look. More refined elements include custom cedar-slat partitions—which Zeff first used for a Hamptons residence—as well as Zeff-designed furniture, examples from his personal collection of antique prints, and the occasional ostrich egg and model chair. "It's not a high-tech environment," he says. "Clients looking for something decorative or even opulent could come in and not feel intimidated."